Meditation and the right-brain view

Through focusing the mind or with determined observation, meditation increases self-awareness and provides a safe space of emptiness where creative thought naturally flows. Further reflecting on Jill Taylor’s video, this space of meditation seems to be similar to the right-brained state she describes.

This week, I am monitoring my thoughts throughout the day. After a 35 minute tube ride and 10 minute walk, I realized that I had barely noticed the past hour… my mind was busy racing through details, reciting e-mails to be written, checking of todo items, and thinking about what I need to get done. My mind doesn’t know how to take a rest.

After 45 minutes when I caught myself, it is as if I woke up to the world around me. The rain drops still on the trees, the stillness of a street at night. My walk became much more vivid. And my mind stayed quiet.

For a few minutes, at least.

Efficiency vs Mental space

checklist

My experiments with Getting Things Done have started. (Right-brained people of the world – don’t have a heart attack… it’s just an experiment.) Objective: to use this methods for reducing stress and to become more efficient by:

  1. Gathering all the thoughts on my mind
  2. Processing the thoughts
  3. Ensuring that items which need accomplishing have a clear, concrete next step attached to them
  4. Tackling one action at a time

“Supposedly” (i.e in some far-fetched theory) by getting vague thoughts out of your head and becoming clear on the next concrete action, mental space is created to get things done. More mental space = room for creative ideas to surface.

The catch is, if I become more efficient, and that raises other’s expectations… will I find myself taking on more responsibilities to fill the new found space? This could be a disaster in waiting.

Innovation with Brad Bird


Lamp

Being creative is more than letting people run wild with their ideas, as uncovered in an insightful interview with Brad Bird on Innovation lessons from Pixar, where the McKinsey Quarterly examined issues around creating a successful creative environment:

The Quarterly: How important is team dynamics to innovation and creativity?

Brad Bird: Making a film, you have all these different departments, and what you’re trying to do is find a way to get them to put forth their creativity in a harmonious way. Otherwise, it’s like you have an orchestra where everybody’s playing their own music. Each individual piece might be beautiful, but together they’re crazy.

Yea. Go big bird.

Hivelogic.com: offices and the creativity zone

Check out the insight from Hivelogic into Offices and the Creativity Zone. Dan discusses some reasons why the corporate work environment isn’t the right setting to be creative – through countless distractions and pressures to produce results.

Reminds me of Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi… where too many demands coming from too many places, makes it impossible for us to be single-minded-ly focused on one task at a time. Although, central to the Flow concept is finding the right balance between challenge and skill level (if the challenge is to great, it causes stress, and if it is too low, it causes boredom). And I think achieving this balance is essential for accessing our most creative states.